In Italy I am having a hard time finding grass fed beef. They just don't understand the reasoning behind it. Just the organic aspect...with grains involved of course. They also have less pasture than in other countries.
But, I have come to realize there is much more in selecting the farmer who you get your meat from. Peimontese, chanine, angus, pezzata rossa....blue belga. Some races are easier to fatten up others less so. Angus being one of the fatter breeds.
One farmer even told me they tried raising angus last year. With the usual 2-3 months of fattening with cereal, they become much too fat. A lot of waste (they discard it ??). This year they may try without the grains. A big maybe for a small farmer in the mountains.
I realize Kobe is supposed to be the best but hard to come by and expensive (This breed is genetically predisposed to intense marbling, and produces a higher percentage of oleaginous, unsaturated fat than any other breed of cattle known in the world)
So, now that I have to accept less than perfect with 2-3 months of grains, I would at least like to choose which breed of cow will produce my meat. I may eventually find a farmer who will let me purchase the entire beast so I can avoid the grains, but end up with less fat, which will obviously mean............freezing.
Anyone have experience with freezing...times...quality loss Has anyone looked into the different races concerning fat content, taste, overall quality and "freezabilty"
Grass fed lamb seems to be pretty easy to find, there are Australian and New Zealand brands that are widely available. I know they aren't bovine, but it is grass fed red meat at least.
Something I have found with frozen meat is that it makes a big difference in terms of quality to thaw it completely and slowly before cooking. Ideally you move it from the freezer to the fridge the night before you cook it so it can thaw slowly, and then take it out of the fridge a few hours before you cook it to it is at room temperature or close to it when you cook it. If you can't put it in the fridge, take it out and leave it on the counter during the day (depending on the size).
If meat is fresh and properly butchered, there should be no problem having it at room temperature for a while before it is cooked. In fact, freezing meat for a couple of weeks kills most possible pathogens and bacteria. One technique for eating raw meat is to freeze it for a couple of weeks and then thaw it completely before preparing. Usually almost all of the bacteria present on meat is on the surface, which will be killed when the meat is cooked.
Thawing meat quickly with the microwave or hot water is a sure way to make it dry and stringy and degrade its quality.
What part of Italy do you live in? I used to live in Turin and could find grass-fed meat. You might want to look up somebody from a Rudolph Steiner group, un centro Antroposofico. They may have some leads for you.
Frozen meat will always dry little when defrosting, be sure that you have your meat professionally vacuum packed before freezing. And if the can be frozen in commercial instant freezer, less freezer damage due smaller ice crystals will occur.
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